Trees are a critical part of our landscape. They are beautiful to look at, provide shade when the days are hot, sustenance for our tables, homes for wildlife and help clean our air and water. Taken care of properly, trees can continue to provide benefits for generations to come.
Now’s the time to get your trees ready for summer, before it gets hot and trees become thirsty. Here are tips for watering your trees the right way:
Create a summer watering plan: Set up drip irrigation or a soaker hose to give your trees a slow, deep drink. Be sure to extend drip and soaker hoses to the edges of the tree canopy (rather than watering near the trunk).
Check the soil moisture with a meter or by digging down with a screwdriver at different points under the canopy. If it’s dry, soak the soil 12 to 18 inches deep, making sure to watch for runoff, which is water running from your yard into your gutter. Plan to water young trees at least twice a week and mature trees when the soil dries out six inches below the surface (usually once per month).
Layer mulch around your trees. Mulch helps moderate soil temperate, reduce evaporation and control weed growth. As it breaks down, mulch also adds valuable nutrients to the soil. Spread the mulch like a donut around your trees, keeping it four inches away from the trunk, layering it six inches deep and spreading it in a three to four foot diameter around your tree.
Keep weeds and lawn away from the base of your tree. Using mulch will help. And be sure to remove the weeds and grass by hand. Weed trimmers or lawn mowers can injure the bark of your trees.
Watered correctly, trees can be one of the most water-efficient plants in your yard.